Molting or Plucking?

Thebrave

New member
May 8, 2018
27
17
Hi friends,

I’ve had my Ekkie boy for over a month now. It’s going as well as one can expect. He’s done some great work with starting target training and about two weeks ago I started to convert his diet from Pretty Bird Eclectus Specific Diet to the Birdtricks Pellets (same as TOPS, gifted to us by my family). He doesn’t care for veggies so we’re working on that, and I’m offering fruit, but he’s still getting around those as well.

He’s a bit of an..aggressive preener kinda guy. Sometimes he even makes a huff/hissing sound when he goes to aggressively preen. But this past week, I noticed he’s been doing it a lot more.

He’s lost a couple body and one wing/tail feather on the last couple weeks, but last night I saw a lot of body and down feathers at the bottom of his sleep cage (see below). I’m just confused because none of the feathers look plucked but some do look overly cared for. On his body, I see both sides of his underwings have lost some feathers in same area, and he only looks like he’s thinning on his head/neck.

My hahn’s didn’t molt nearly as much as he did in one sitting that I saw so I’m trying to be proactive since Ekkie’s are prone to plucking. I did see some pin feather sheath dust but still worried he’s molting and plucking all the same. I also never had to deal with seasons so I’m not sure how they affect molting. Is it normal to molt in November?

Background: He gets to spend however much time he wants out of his cage. The door is always open unless I have to leave the room for more than 30 minutes. And even then, I’ll offer him a hand/shoulder to hang out with me if I leave the room before I go. Sometimes he’ll come for the ride, other times not. He has lots of toys in and out of his cage to play regardless and he has access to everything he needs.

He has a bunch of toys, lots of foraging toys since those seem to be his favorite (he’s a little chonk, I love it). He does play with them, but when he’s in the mood, otherwise, he’s chattering on his own, taking naps, or asking to hang out with me.

He’s had somewhat less of an appetite lately. He’ll eat his breakfast a little later, and usually he snacks at the remaining pellets but he has been doing so not as often unless it’s the foraging treats he finally frees. He will tries to fly to his night cage to sleep when he’s ready around 5p or 6p (the sunsets around this time and is dark for us). I try to take him out in 12 hours, but sometimes he does warning bites as if to say let me sleep in, so I try again in intervals until he’s ready to step up. He’s still new to me, so I’m trying to respect his boundaries as much as possible, and won’t move him unless it’s an area I don’t want him to have access to. He’ll eat breakfast, forage with his toys, and then squawk until nap time. And then I give dinner. He hangs out until I see him start to get comfy to sleep. I’d keep him in his regular cage, but that is in the living room where I sleep and I have sleep apnea so I don’t want to startle him and set him up in my nieces room where he can get some quiet.

I don’t stroke his body, but I did try to check his feathers and body for places if he was plucking. He doesn’t like touch but will let me manipulate him some. He also offer me kisses when we’re hanging out. He just puts his beak next to my face and does it himself. I do talk softly to calm him down at times, and I’ll hum or sing a little lullaby before we put him in for bed time. Otherwise, I am working on him allowing touch.

Before I forget, we also went to the vet a month ago and had blood and fecal and microchipping. All tests were passed per avian certified vet. They also said that his Pretty Bird diet was fine, but I am trying to convert to unfortified ones.

Happy to answer any questions!

Here are some pictures for reference.
 

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Jcas

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2023
501
828
Parrots
Quaker, 2 budgies
Looks like plain ol’ molting to me! Sometimes they play with feathers after they fall out making the lost feather look a little tattered. Beautiful bird! ❤️
 
OP
T

Thebrave

New member
May 8, 2018
27
17
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  • #3
Looks like plain ol’ molting to me! Sometimes they play with feathers after they fall out making the lost feather look a little tattered. Beautiful bird! ❤️
Hi @Jcas thank you so much for responding! He's just been so cranky too and it's like we took two steps back on his cage aggression since he started heavily molting. So I was getting worried and being a helicopter mom. He's gotten a lot more raggedy looking since the new pin feathers are coming in, but I do think he's going through a pretty heavy molt :/
 

kme3388

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2021
1,009
3,171
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Eclectus Parrot: Nico (male)
Jenday Conure: Kiwi (female)
IMG_1079.jpeg
IMG_1082.jpeg

Hi there, I do have a male Ekkie who barbers, plucks, scissors, and self mutilates (it’s been a long time for the self mutilation, and hopefully he never does it again). I attached some photos so you can get a good idea on what to watch for in your Ekkie.

I would recommend chatting with an avian vet. These little guys can be on the sensitive side of things. It’s not fun finding a vet at the last minute if something goes wrong. It’s best to already have an established relationship with one.
 

mish22

New member
Jul 9, 2013
17
Media
1
15
Hi friends,

I’ve had my Ekkie boy for over a month now. It’s going as well as one can expect. He’s done some great work with starting target training and about two weeks ago I started to convert his diet from Pretty Bird Eclectus Specific Diet to the Birdtricks Pellets (same as TOPS, gifted to us by my family). He doesn’t care for veggies so we’re working on that, and I’m offering fruit, but he’s still getting around those as well.

He’s a bit of an..aggressive preener kinda guy. Sometimes he even makes a huff/hissing sound when he goes to aggressively preen. But this past week, I noticed he’s been doing it a lot more.

He’s lost a couple body and one wing/tail feather on the last couple weeks, but last night I saw a lot of body and down feathers at the bottom of his sleep cage (see below). I’m just confused because none of the feathers look plucked but some do look overly cared for. On his body, I see both sides of his underwings have lost some feathers in same area, and he only looks like he’s thinning on his head/neck.

My hahn’s didn’t molt nearly as much as he did in one sitting that I saw so I’m trying to be proactive since Ekkie’s are prone to plucking. I did see some pin feather sheath dust but still worried he’s molting and plucking all the same. I also never had to deal with seasons so I’m not sure how they affect molting. Is it normal to molt in November?

Background: He gets to spend however much time he wants out of his cage. The door is always open unless I have to leave the room for more than 30 minutes. And even then, I’ll offer him a hand/shoulder to hang out with me if I leave the room before I go. Sometimes he’ll come for the ride, other times not. He has lots of toys in and out of his cage to play regardless and he has access to everything he needs.

He has a bunch of toys, lots of foraging toys since those seem to be his favorite (he’s a little chonk, I love it). He does play with them, but when he’s in the mood, otherwise, he’s chattering on his own, taking naps, or asking to hang out with me.

He’s had somewhat less of an appetite lately. He’ll eat his breakfast a little later, and usually he snacks at the remaining pellets but he has been doing so not as often unless it’s the foraging treats he finally frees. He will tries to fly to his night cage to sleep when he’s ready around 5p or 6p (the sunsets around this time and is dark for us). I try to take him out in 12 hours, but sometimes he does warning bites as if to say let me sleep in, so I try again in intervals until he’s ready to step up. He’s still new to me, so I’m trying to respect his boundaries as much as possible, and won’t move him unless it’s an area I don’t want him to have access to. He’ll eat breakfast, forage with his toys, and then squawk until nap time. And then I give dinner. He hangs out until I see him start to get comfy to sleep. I’d keep him in his regular cage, but that is in the living room where I sleep and I have sleep apnea so I don’t want to startle him and set him up in my nieces room where he can get some quiet.

I don’t stroke his body, but I did try to check his feathers and body for places if he was plucking. He doesn’t like touch but will let me manipulate him some. He also offer me kisses when we’re hanging out. He just puts his beak next to my face and does it himself. I do talk softly to calm him down at times, and I’ll hum or sing a little lullaby before we put him in for bed time. Otherwise, I am working on him allowing touch.

Before I forget, we also went to the vet a month ago and had blood and fecal and microchipping. All tests were passed per avian certified vet. They also said that his Pretty Bird diet was fine, but I am trying to convert to unfortified ones.

Happy to answer any questions!

Here are some pictures for reference.
Get him off the pretty bird . Harrisons is the best and you dont want any hormonal issues with pretty bird or zupreem there all junk and no seeds at all .
 

mish22

New member
Jul 9, 2013
17
Media
1
15
I would for shore get get him on harrisons its maid by a avaian vet . my eckie loves it . and it really suppliments there diet if there bad vegie eaters . i get my guy frozen vegies cause he is getting picky and for the plucking try Avi Calm they cant get to much of it . my friend owns the largest avairy in Fl and has them all on it . well good luck get that stuff it should help chew has it and the food you will find it gust google . good luck
 
OP
T

Thebrave

New member
May 8, 2018
27
17
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
View attachment 56417View attachment 56418
Hi there, I do have a male Ekkie who barbers, plucks, scissors, and self mutilates (it’s been a long time for the self mutilation, and hopefully he never does it again). I attached some photos so you can get a good idea on what to watch for in your Ekkie.

I would recommend chatting with an avian vet. These little guys can be on the sensitive side of things. It’s not fun finding a vet at the last minute if something goes wrong. It’s best to already have an established relationship with one.
Thanks so much! He was definitely molting I think, but now he's entered his horny era D: I caught him humping a couple of towels someone put on his cage without me realizing. He also started shredding the bottom paper at the bottom of his sleep cage. I'm dreading the hormones already!
 
OP
T

Thebrave

New member
May 8, 2018
27
17
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Get him off the pretty bird . Harrisons is the best and you dont want any hormonal issues with pretty bird or zupreem there all junk and no seeds at all .
I have him on TOPS! which he's taken a liking to. I've found less and less pretty bird that he's dunking and eating in his water thankfully.
He unfortunately I think did enter his hormone era. He's been aggressive with me all day today, just nippy andd doesn't want me near his cage at all (when he usually just is okay with me sitting next to him talking and will let me put treats in his foraging toys). He doesn't want to step up, and although I would let him sleep in his day cage, it's too noisy at night (I sleep in the living room and snore), and the cats run around sometimes. I keep his sleep cage, a little smaller in my nieces room. He'll usually step up for me nicely, but even with a treat, he gives me the evil eyes. I miss my sweet boy already.
 
OP
T

Thebrave

New member
May 8, 2018
27
17
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
I would for shore get get him on harrisons its maid by a avaian vet . my eckie loves it . and it really suppliments there diet if there bad vegie eaters . i get my guy frozen vegies cause he is getting picky and for the plucking try Avi Calm they cant get to much of it . my friend owns the largest avairy in Fl and has them all on it . well good luck get that stuff it should help chew has it and the food you will find it gust google . good luck
Do you find AviCalm helpful.? Thanks, I have him on TOPS and right now he seems to like it.
 

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